Paul Nicholls And Willie Mullins Set For Ascot Duel As Politologue v Min Is Set To Light Up Christy 1965 Chase
Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins are ready to do battle on the big stage again on Saturday afternoon when Politologue and Min clash in Ascot's Grade 2 Christy 1965 Chase, which is the feature race on a sparkling National Hunt card at the Berkshire track this weekend.
Politologue will fly the flag for the Nicholls yard as he looks to use this race as a launchpad to next month's King George VI Chase, while Min will be aiming to turn the form around with the Ditcheat inmate, who narrowly fought him off in a memorable renewal of the Melling Chase at Aintree in April.
In one of the highlights of the Grand National meeting it was Politologue that just prevailed by a head with the pair pulling 20 lengths clear of Sizing Granite. Min had won the battle on their previous duel in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but while the Irish-trained Mullins runner eased clear of Politologue in the closing stages he was no match for Altior, who romped to a seven-length success in the two-mile Championship contest.
Now stepping up to 2m 5f 8y on Saturday both horses' stamina will be tested and Mullins will be eyeing up another crack at Altior come March in the Champion Chase, but Nicholls has admitted defeat in trying to beat Nicky Henderson's superstar, so this race could be a used as a stepping stone to send Politologue over further and if he can run well in this race then the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day is a real possibility.
While the classy pair top the latest betting for Saturday's 1965 Chase, there will be a whole host of smart performers lining up with Charbel, Benatar and Shattered Love all potentially taking their chance in a race that Nicholls has dominated in recent times as he has trained the winner five times in the last 15 years.
Star potential runners include...
Could be a cracking renewal.